By JASON MYRVIK | Jason Myrvik is the general manager at Midland Door Solutions and offers more than 20 years of industry experience. As general manager, his responsibilities include overseeing the manufacturing and installation departments and ensuring the best customer service. Contact him at Jason@MidlandDoorSolutions.com.
Door replacement offers an opportunity for greater efficiency and longer building life
Although the doors on machine sheds, shops, and other agricultural buildings are built to last a long time, their outdated operating systems can pose safety risks and become more susceptible to breakdowns. Old doors start experiencing problems after a lack of service and exposure to weather conditions, causing them to become structurally and cosmetically worn out over time.
One way to give these structures new life is by replacing the door with a new bi-fold or hydraulic door, which can have a dramatic effect on the functionality, safety, and appearance of the exterior of the structure. Here are some ways door replacement can enhance usability and longevity.
Maximize Productivity and Space
As agricultural equipment has grown in size over the years, the need for larger sheds that hold multiple machines and have extra storage is essential. An advantage of upgrading to a bi-fold or hydraulic door is that it will not obscure the building’s opening, allowing the equipment to use the full height and width of the doorway when entering or exiting.
Manufacturers design the replacement door to have an appropriate opening height and width to fit an agricultural building’s structure and ensure the building is durable enough to handle the door’s technology and weight. Door manufacturers can also tailor doors to meet the customer’s vision for both look and function. Doors can be customized with different colors or windows to meet any desired aesthetic.
A new door also requires less maintenance and will not break down at inopportune times, which increases efficiency. By upgrading a door, customers have peace of mind knowing there’s no need to repair it every few months, ultimately making it a more cost-effective investment.
Sliding doors are common on older agricultural buildings and over the years, door designs and technology have advanced. Today, there is no need to leave the driver’s seat to open the door or to fight with snow and ice. A new door with an automated opening system also provides the convenience of pushing a button rather than struggling to manually open old sliding doors, no matter the season.
When doors age, their safety elements, and parts do, too. Installing new doors ensures that they are outfitted with the most innovative and up-to-date safety features. This offers extra protection, especially when opening and closing the door. Many manufactured doors have safety ratings that consider the building size and the door’s weight to determine if the door has sufficient strength to operate efficiently and safely. For example, if a door has a rating of 5 to 1, this means that the cables and straps opening the door can withstand the stress that is five times greater than the weight of the door. Beyond the door itself, locking systems, safety sensor technology, and how the door lifts are all important safety features to consider when looking to replace your door.
Locking and Sensor Systems
Many doors offer latch locking systems with safety switches that help prevent the door from opening or closing until it’s unlocked. When an operator tries to manually open a locked door, it can cause strain and unnecessary damage to the door that can often lead to an expensive repair. A single latch system with a safety switch improves usability by unlocking the door without going to each side of the door to unlock the jamb locks.
Replacement doors also offer safety sensor technology with photo eyes to ensure nothing is in the way as the door closes. Photo eyes extend a sensor a few inches from the floor, and if something obstructs the path of the sensor, the door identifies it and stops. The safety sensor technology installed on the bottom edge of the door can also detect if something is in its way, then stops or reverses its motion.
Efficient Lifting System
Many older doors have survived with outdated operating systems that have prevented the door from working its best. A nylon strap system is a nice upgrade that allows doors to open more smoothly to improve productivity and safety while preventing costly maintenance check-ups.
Similar to a cable system, the nylon straps wrap around the drum and hoist the weight of the door upward. This system is safer because the nylon straps have a rated breaking strength much higher than that of cables. Adding nylon straps is beneficial because they won’t require as much maintenance time or exude excessive noise during operation, and the straps can be easy to replace if an issue occurs.
Service That Fits
Once you make the decision to replace a door, you will want to choose your manufacturer carefully to get the best result and service throughout the life of the door. With any door design, engineering and installation project, manufacturers should take a thorough and hands-on approach to ensure you are pleased with all stages of the door replacement process.
Look for a manufacturer that has a comprehensive designing and planning process that involves several consultations with you and the contractor for more information on the building specifications. There is also an advantage to partnering with a manufacturer that travels to the location to record door frame measurements before the door is designed and built to ensure a proper fit and confirm the design will work.
To provide a fast and turnkey installation, it is beneficial when a manufacturer installs the finished door and also brings all the needed equipment to provide an efficient installation. In collaboration with the contractor, they will ensure the door lines up precisely with the existing door frame and that it will operate smoothly. Installation crews can even dispose of the old door unless the customer would rather discard it themselves. By upgrading an aged door, customers can have confidence and peace of mind with their investment in the long run.
Finally, ask how service is handled after installation and choose a manufacturer or door dealer that provides periodic general maintenance visits. Regular service will help you avoid unnecessary emergency repairs and make the most of your door investment.
Experience That Impacts
Customers in the agricultural industry can improve their efficiency and productivity by partnering with door manufacturers who are collaborative and transparent with every project. Choosing a manufacturer that has background experience and quality equipment ensures a successful door installation. From the first consultation to the final result, you’ll have peace of mind every time you close up your equipment after a long day in the field.
Installing a new door offers the opportunity to increase opening height and width to accommodate today’s larger equipment. The above photo is before the new door installation; the below photo shows the new door.
Increase efficiency, usability, and longevity by upgrading doors for agricultural buildings, such as machine sheds, barns and shops. The above photo is before the new door installation; the below photo shows the new door.